Again, found under Pages instead of Posts…thought these two were lost forever.
Today being Day 4 meant nothing more than noting that the initial feeling of wonderment and excitement for something new started to fade. The initial burst I felt was like cutting into an apple and discovering the sweet smell of the juice. If that was Day 1, Day 4 revealed the clean white fruit starting to turn brown. The apple appears to oxidize in seconds. This first glimpse of vulnerability was not met with much disappointment. What more is in store?
Last night following a few hours of jiu jitsu I was the first to enter the showers. I still had a sweat going, but not like the mid-summer, unairconditioned, cramped conditions following an hour black-belt class at GB Montreal where after 30 minutes of rolling with 40 teammates on the mat was followed by a mad dash for the 4 showers only to emerge sweating in dress clothes while bumping into those lined up to do the same. I had cooled off a bit. And, I jumped in quickly and found myself being forced to breath fully in order to relax myself under the cold water.
The cold shower was the least miserable that I’d had. Toward the end I was rinsing off and decided to enjoy it for a few extra seconds until considering others waiting. It was only uncomfortable at the start. After a few seconds it became nice and refreshing. I didn’t need to focus on breathing at all.
This morning was another story. Awoken abruptly by an uncharged battery meant to power our smoke detector; intermittent beeps each 20 or so seconds created an environment unfit for human occupancy. Luckily it was after 8am. For an accidental alarm, it was very well timed. A short trip to the hardware store and things were quiet. Caity made coffee and I got to work. Two cycles of the breathing exercises and I made my way to the shower. I was not excited to get in, and after a few minutes under the water, I was very excited to get out. I would say that my back and arms were very sensitive. I thought about how, after two weeks, the tiny muscles surrounding the veins and capillaries beneath the skin will become stronger from clenching against the cold shock of the water. I wondered how many reps that I’d completed up until this point in my life. I’d jumped in plenty of cold pools, run outside in plenty of snowstorms and stood outside in hundreds of cold November rains. How have these muscles not yet been built up? Do they atrophy as I sit here warm in my robe, or while I’m driving my car with the heater on, sitting in a movie theatre, or sleeping in my bed? I guess so.
The shower this morning was that of Day 4. It was blase. But as I stepped out, again I felt invigorated and energized. While there will be no jiu jitsu or second cold shower tonight, Day 5 will come and the practice will continue.